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Things to watch with aliases... System
I've discovered that X programs are prone to misbehavior when you make them try to operate on aliases.

The most painful example was when I tried replacing Exploder 5.1's bookmarks.html file with an alias to the one I used under 9... Exploder thought the file didn't exist, and wrote out its default bookmarks.html, which overwrote the original file! Luckily, I had a semi-backup and was able to rebuild from it.

Also, the Dock simply doesn't understand the concept of having an alias to a folder in the dock - after installing 'Classic Menu', I tried to replace the pseudo-apple items folder I had in the Dock with a link to Classic Menu's folder, and the Dock wouldn't do the click-and-hold thing that it does with an actual folder. It's fine with a folder full of aliases, and does the right thing there, but not when the folder itself is an alias.

So... while aliases are a traditional tool for managing different programs that need the same info, be very sure to back up any data you try to alias before testing, as it seems that X's support of them is not quite as transparant as 9's was.
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Things to watch with aliases... | 6 comments | Create New Account
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aliases not equal links
Authored by: jimr on Oct 07, '01 11:40:18PM

I have found a number of cases where a finder alias was not behaving as expected.
the thing to do in this case is drop into the terminal and

ln -s {file you want to alias} {name of the alias}

curly brackets added for clarity

then if you ls -alF in that directory, you should see
something in this format:
permissions date size myaliasname->/the/directory/path/tothefile

to finish the syllogism

all aliases are not links but all links are aliases.

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Why put an alias in the dock?
Authored by: rymes60 on Oct 08, '01 08:15:17PM

Don't drag an alias of a folder to the dock, just drag the folder itself to the dock. The folder itself will stay in its original location, and the dock will show the folder as well. I do this with a "Launcher" folder full of aliases.


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There's a dockling....
Authored by: murlin on Oct 09, '01 12:17:43AM

I use a dockling called Snard. Works well, is easy to configure and can go two levels deep. It creates the aliases for you.

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Aliases and Unix
Authored by: Kool on Oct 12, '01 09:08:21AM


I noted a difference between aliases from Mac OS X and its Unix underpinnings. Creating an alias in the Finder shows up as a file in the terminal. The first letter of the ll command (eg "-rwxr-wr-w")is a hyphen " - " instead of an " l " as it should be for a link in Unix. The problem with the Finder aliases is that some programms (like Apache) don't recognize them. So Unix links should be used. With the command " ln " and " lndir " I can create links for files. For folders I didnt't got succes. Who helps me out?



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Aliases and Unix
Authored by: Kool on Oct 15, '01 06:54:12AM

Found it:

ln -s LinkedDirectory Alias

The LinkedDirectory should exist, the Alias not. The -s option is the key to my solution.


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Aliases and Unix
Authored by: reverie on Nov 03, '01 11:32:30PM

Actually, you should almost always use symbolic links (the -s option) for creating links. I'm not quite clear on why that isn't the default. A symbolic link is a special kind of file that contains the path to the file you want (you can't view the contents of the file directly, you just have to trust me), and when the original file gets moved or deleted, the symbolic link breaks. A "hard" link (the default kind) creates a pointer to the data contained in the original file, and so when you delete the original, the data is still accessible from the new link.

It's kinda hard to think about unless you know the internal workings of a unix filesystem, but in general, aliases are better than links because they have the properties that you only have to delete the original file to delete the data, and the link will remember where the file is if it gets moved to another location.

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